Even more obvious than the painted cork trend, denim footwear is impossible to overlook this spring. From shoe maestro Blahnik to pacesetter Aquazzura, the industry brings us a playful spin on the classic jean twill.
From pumps to sandals, platforms to stilettos – each designer created a unique styles inspired by the blue Americana staple. Not only is denim is a reliable fabric perfect for everyday wear but it’s also an interestingly stylish shoe textile.
I particularly love Gianvito Rossi’s take, adding several denim designs to his spring collection which features a dark wash exaggerated with frayed patches. Both Fendi and Christian Louboutin combined a lighter shade with tropical floral printed leather. Jimmy Choo carries the most amount of denim styles this season adding a sleek contrasting black leather trim to several styles.
Manolo Blahnik leopard printed BB pointed-toe pump; on sale at Neiman Marcus
Christian LouboutinSenora t-strap sandal in light denim with Hawaiian-inspired printed heel; available at Neiman Marcus
January Jones wore Bionda CastanaViola sandals to the 2016 Critics’ Choice Awards. They’re from the new Spring 2016 collection featuring a corset style lace-up front and long, wrap-around laces. Viola is available in four variations including black, blush, metallic silver, lavender and gold at FarFetch.
The ‘Last Man on Earth’ star posed on the pretty turquoise carpet also wearing an intricately beaded, deep v-cut Pamplona dress by Altuzarra from the Spring 2016 collection.
We love stalking photos of Parisian and Milanese runways, but it just so happens that a lot of the brightest shining soles aren’t the ones name dropped during late night television, they’re crafted by names that are just starting their ascent into greatness.
Here’s a list of our favorite up & coming designers, burgeoning brands and impressive footwear designs that have caught our eye. Since we began compiling this list months ago, several designers are already that much closer to fashion stardom! Many have spotted their work in an upcoming September issue, graced the feet of Hollywood’s finest or even landed a coveted spot in the iconic Bergdorf Goodman window displays.
Sarah Flint With internships at both Diane von Fürstenberg and Proenza Schouler under her belt, it isn’t surprising that the stunning shoes designed by Sarah Flint have a decidedly architectural bent. Adding a twist to classic designs, layered suede and shaped 3D leather are all a part of her impressive repertoire. As for us? We’re dying over her heeled Hayworth sandal.
Henri Lepore Dezert You might remember Henri Lepore Dezert from our recent interview with the designer himself, but just in case you need reminding, he’s a man with his star on the rise. Unafraid of mixing antique embellishments and sentiments with ferociously confident modern day flair, his designs are classic, yet sensual; perfect for work and for play.
Melis Yildiz Blending traditional themes with high fashion touches (think: PVC detailing on a classic suede pump or metallic and textured thick heeled sandals), the punchy colored soles designed by Melis Paciotti for her brand Melis Yildiz are nothing short of show stoppers. Turkish born and Italy-based, elegance is met with vibrant sass with fabulous results.
Alejandra G. Alejandra G. has one goal in mind: make an impact and make it big. The larger than life combinations of cherry red and leopard print, platform pumps and tassels, and snake print and studs just scratch the surface of the gotta-look-twice collections designed by the ever-fierce Alejandra. Slipping into a pair of these celebrity-endorsed sky-high heels will definitely make you the center of attention.
Giannico Nicolò Beretta is a luxury footwear wunderkind and his brand Giannico reveals this 18-year-old’s massive talent. Giannico’s collections take architectural embellishments and flair to an entirely new level, weaving 3D geometric shapes into dramatic curves and swerves that have been snapped for the pages of Vogue Italia and Marie Claire Italia. Endlessly creative and new to the game, we’re sold on Giannico’s eclectic elegance.
Gianluca Soldi Contemporary, sleek, confident. In a nutshell, that is Gianluca Soldi, whose designs balance the razor’s edge or romantic and modern. After freelance shoe designing for little brands you might have heard of (Kenzo, Dolce & Gabbana, and Versace to name a few), Gianluca started his own brand to fully encapsulate his vision. The result is sleek lines and vibrant color combinations, pin-thin heels and exotic skins, and we can’t get enough.
Giseli Dias For every understated Sofia Coppola, there’s a Lady Gaga to balance her out. If Lauren Marinis is the Sofia in question, Giseli Diaz must be Gaga circa Pokerface. Her shoes are stratospheric in height, the patterns and colors are brighter than Oz, and there are enough rhinestone embellishments to make Elizabeth Taylor lose her cool. Fierce and unique, Giseli Diaz’ shoes make a bold statement.
Lauren Marinis You might think that sky-high 5 inch heels aren’t for everyone, but one glance at Lauren Marinis’ vibrant, unique, and undeniably elegant collection will change your mind in a heartbeat. Using iridescent greys, teal snakeskins, and dyed calf-hair to prove sophistication can be vibrant, luxury never looked so obtainable. Her pumps will fill you with confidence and make you look like you have legs that go on for months, what more could you possibly want in a killer pair of shoes? Excuse us, we’re swooning over here.
Chloe Gosselin Chloe Gosselin has stated that music, vintage aesthetics, and visual arts deeply inspire her collections and the resulting dark romance of her shoes is palpable – every design in her fall 2014 collection was named after a poisonous flower, after all – and yet, she never loses a sense of deep-rooted luxury or sophistication. Every discrete detail and hint of snakeskin belie an adoration of immaculate quality that would be at home on any cobblestoned Parisian street, and that sense of easy chic is priceless.
Malone Souliers With a keen eye for detail and an adoration of luxury, Mary Alice Malone – the genius behind the brand – brings new life to staples. Flawlessly, she blends pops of color, ropes of suede as ankle straps, sleek lines evocative of equestrian gear (unsurprising, as she was a member of the Junior Olympic Equestrian Team as a youth), and exotic skins into soles that demand to be worn to work and to a ritzy soiree after. Simplicity doesn’t denote mediocrity and Malone Soulier’s not-so-basic basics seal the deal. We especially love the strappy peeptoes and the ankle booties.
Charkviani Charkviani is a brand with modern aesthetics with an international twist, aiming to make their footwear collections wearable art. Their shoes are fit with fringes, ruffles, patent tortoiseshell leather, and thick ombre plexiglass heels, making the concept not for the faint of heart, but for the fiercest of the fierce. Having aided the shoe designs of Diesel, Chloe, John Richmond, and Kanye West, Charkviani is leading the charge to make their own name.
Thomas Lieuvin Dedicated to comfort and to style, Thoman Lieuvin is a brand that almost seems too good to be true. Fanciful and feminine, every minute detail of his collections – from the vamp zipper to the superfluously chic straps, from the combination of printed calf hair and vibrant leather – urges you to take a step out of your comfort zone and into a new, chic state of mind. Think of it as Alice waking up in a Technicolor Wonderland, where you are Alice and Technicolor Wonderland is Bergdorf Goodman.
Andrea Wazen After studying fashion design in Paris and learning the ropes from internships at Rupert Sanderson, Elie Saab and Christian Louboutin, Andrea Wazen launched her own namesake luxury shoe line. Her designs exude feminine elegance topped off with their own “distinct personality” which you can shop at her beautiful boutique in Beirut, Lebanon.
Poise Design Candied apple sweet and Betty Page sassy, Poise Design is the perfect brand for the women who love a little (or a lot) of glitter to go with their electric pink, who love their pink loafers studded and their bows emblazoned with rhinestones. There is a very good chance that slipping into a pair of Poise Design’s shoes will make you feel like you’re playing a round of Pretty Pretty Princess, but when Cinderella herself would be jealous of your shoe collection, all you should feel is pride.
Karen Gallo If this day and age in fashion has one singular runaway trend that has exploded with unforeseen popularity, it’s blending urban flair with uptown sophistication and that fierce combination is honed to a gorgeous leather point in the hands of newcomer Karen Gallo. If structured lines, a monochromatic color palette, and contemporary verve is a hint of the collections to come, we’re officially waiting with bated breath.
Ffion Lloyd Inspired by the gorgeous vibrancy and intricacy of nature, Ffion Lloyd is a London-based footwear designer specializing in bringing atoms, crystals, cells, and other little-noticed microcosms to fashion life. She’s worked for Tom Ford, Sophia Webster, and Marc Jacobs, which only spells a positive future for her solo career. We personally can’t wait to see the stunning, mother nature-inspired collections she creates.
Fringed footwear is fun to wear and I like how it splashes around my feet as I walk. I really like the layered design by Choo which features a pink rayon and brown suede fringe. Christian Louboutin also used fringe detailing on a suede boot which Jessica Biel’s been wearing.
Woven leather is the second most popular trend in footwear this season next to mixed media. It’s used differently by each designer, for example, Charlotte Olympia used a white leather to create a playful basket-looking island platform.
Rounding out the shoe trends, an obvious style seen in several designer’s collections has been the use of wooden inserts and wooden details. As a prominent example, I love how Cate Blanchett wore this Givenchy sandal to a premiere last December.
I love Chrissie Morris’ spring – summer 10′ collection. She is a British based designer and her collection is amazing. The colors are earthy but rich. She used unique fabrics like stingray and python creating succulent texture. It’s the architecture, lines and piping which visually mesmerize the eyes. Visit her site here.